Nothing for granted
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven." Matthew 7.21
Does the mortality of Jesus make our own experience of death easier or more meaningful? That depends. The death of a non-believer leaves one wondering, while the person who dies in faith has the promise of Jesus, enshrined in scripture, that there is a place in heaven reserved especially for them.
None of us has the right to judge another human-being; only God has that authority. But we have it on the same authority that we can secure our ultimate destiny by putting our faith in Jesus, who died our death so that we can live his life. And if we have any compassion for our fellow human-beings we shall take every opportunity to share the convictions that sustain us.
Of course mission and evangelism challenge us in various ways. Many have to do with our own pride and concern about being rejected, even ridiculed. Once we have got over these hang-ups, though, we are still confronted with the worry about putting people off so that they turn away from God rather then towards him - and then what hope have they?
Such dilemmas, while well founded, are not an excuse for inactivity. Instead let them drive us to our knees in prayer: that God would make us sensitive both to the occasion and to those we seek to reach. Learning to walk - and to witness - according to the rhythms of the Holy Spirit will surely render us better channels of the Good News that there is hope, even in the face of death?